If you're researching which reservation system to go with you may be looking at a comparison between Table Agent and Eat App.
We regularly speak to restaurant owners who are comparing the two systems, so to help you understand your options with each, we'll take a deep dive into the differences between Eat App and Table Agent so you can make an informed decision.
Table Agent is a free reservation system, (although does require payments for certain features), and most people when comparing Table Agent are keen to know what are the limitations of a free system compared to a paid one and whether they can "get-by" with something basic. We'll hopefully help you understand this question in this comparison and show you the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.
You may have noticed that this article is on the Eat App site so we are are probably biased. This is true. But as we get many questions about Table Agent and Eat App our intention here is to address some of the main differences between the two systems to help you make a decision. We believe the whatever you choose in the end should be right for your business. Full stop.
So let's get on with the Eat App and Table Agent comparison.
Many people are attracted to Table Agent because of the free pricing but you must be willing to use a very basic list based reservation system with limited functionality and features.
Eat App also has a free tier, but starting at a low monthly cost of $49 restaurants start to unlock the full benefits of a cross device system full of advanced reservation, table and guest management features.
Table Agent gives you a way to accept and manage online reservations, Eat App gives you a complete tool set to increase reservations, revenue and loyalty through leveraging your guest data.
In our experience from talking to our customers who have made the switch from Table Agent to Eat App, Table Agent can work if you absolutely have zero budget and don't mind a more basic widget design and limited set of features. But for those serious about growing their brand, and customer base, they find spending the slightly higher monthly fee of Eat App to be a no-brainer - and when pricing is still an issue, Eat App's free plan has been able to help countless restaurants gain an online presence and grow reservations at no cost.
The Table Agent Approach
Table Agent is a reservation software provider to restaurants and also operates a small consumer facing website where guests can make bookings. Their website claims they have around 5000 restaurants using their free-to-use reservation system.
The aim of Table Agent is to offer an easy to use and very cheap, and in many cases free, reservation system to restaurants with the goal of saving restaurants money.
To keep the price at zero, the Table Agent approach is to offer simple reservation management on the web that isn't updated too often. However, Table Agent does charge for certain features such as access to payments and messaging.
The service provides a basic booking widget a restaurant can install on their site and controls over how their table availability is shown. The widget can be installed through an iFrame on any site so guests don't have to visit another site to make a bookings. In addition, Table Agent gives restaurants the ability to manage waitlists and walk-ins, as well as view cover reports which are great for showing trends over time.
Unlike more full featured systems, Table Agent uses a "list" based system to manage reservations. You can think of it as a digital version of a traditional reservation book connected to an online booking widget. If you have been using other systems previously that work around a floor plan or a calendar, Table Agent will be a different experience.
Table Agent offers its restaurant customers one system for managing reservations with the ability to pay for payment and messaging features outside of the core offering.
- Real-time booking widget
- Reservation, walk-in and waitlist management
- Reservation reports
- Confirmation messages (additional cost)
- Ticketing (additional cost)
Table Agent Pricing
The Table Agent system is free to use and charges no cover fees or monthly subscription to use. It does offer two add-ons features for which they do charge a fee.
Payments has two pricing options at $1 per transaction or you can go for the unlimited plan that cost $29/per month. Both options require you to have merchant account with Stripe, Square or Autorize.net. SMS messaging costs $20 per month. In addition Table Agent will automatically list your restaurant on their consumer facing website.If you don't want to be listed you will have to pay $30 per month for an "unlisted" account.
Advantages of Table Agent
- The system is free if you take the standard plan.
- Simple way to start taking reservations from your website.
- The optional paid features are competitively priced.
- Runs in your web browser so you can use it on a standard computer.
Disadvantages of Table Agent
- Speed of updates and new feature releases is slow.
- Features are limited with no table management, guest data or marketing functions
- Widget can't be customized to your brand.
- List based system lacks functionality
- No access to reservation networks like Reserve with Google or Instagram.
- No support for native iOS or Android apps.
The Eat App Approach
Founded in 2015, Eat App is a global provider of advanced reservation and guest management software. The system is used across 60 plus countries and has over 3000 customers.
At its core Eat App provides a guest data platform for restaurants that powers online reservations, customer service, operations and marketing. The goal of Eat App is to help restaurants grow, by offering tools that increase reservations as well as improve loyalty through improved guest experiences, rather than simply reduce costs. Eat App charges a low monthly subscription fee and by using their tools they aim to provide a huge ROI through increased revenue.
The system provides a complete guest management and reservation platform that includes customizable bookings widgets and a full suite of in-house software running on desktop and through native, iPad, iOS and Android apps. Eat App includes reservation and waitlist management as well as a CRM, customer database, shift management, rich guest profile tracking, email marketing, tagging and table management. In addition the app includes a robust reservation and guest analytics suite.
Part of Eat App's offering as a guest data platform is a range of integrations including POS and Phone integration that help restaurants connect all their existing system together.
Eat App uses a floor plan and guest profile approach to reservation software, meaning you get a customized floor plan and can manage your restaurant by looking directly at your floor plan, as a calendar view, or by 15 mins time slots as a reservation grid.
What features do restaurants get with Eat App?
Eat App provides a web app that runs in any browser, as well as a full featured table management system for iPad and native restaurant manger apps on both iPhone and Android.
- Customizable, branded real-time booking widget
- Reservation, walk-in and waitlist management
- Automatic messaging via SMS and Email
- Drag and drop table management
- Official partnerships with Google, Instagram, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Wix and many more booking channels
- Table optimization
- Guest database and filterable CRM
- Full analytics suite
- Guest surveys and post dining feedback
- Guest tagging
- Server management
- Customer segmentation and Email marketing
- Shift and capacity management
Eat App Pricing
Eat App has 4 levels of pricing. Starting at $0 per month for basic reservation management and booking channels all the way to $209 for the complete restaurant management suite (with no hidden costs). Eat App's paid plans all include a free SMS quota with additional SMS available at competitive pricing.
In addition, Eat App offers optional add-ons for advanced functionality including POS Integration for $90/month and phone integration for $25/month and payments integration for $50/month.
Table Agent vs. Eat App: So what's the difference?
Both Eat App and Table Agent provide an easy way for restaurants to take bookings online so they are comparable in that sense. But there are big differences in both the approach and what is included with each system. Table Agent is a more basic and lower cost system for managing reservations, whereas Eat App is a complete guest management system and can come with a slightly higher price tag when necessary.
Difference of Approach
The goal of Table Agent to reduce fees to as low as possible, whereas the goal of Eat App is to help restaurants increase revenue and defend against the competition for a fair price. If you absolutely must save as much money as possible then Table Agent could be the best approach for you, but if you are actively looking to grow your restaurant brand then Eat App provides you the tools to do just that.
Beyond the core functionality of providing an online booking widget there are big differences between the two systems in terms of features. Table Agent will give you a simple way to manage reservations and waitlists but if you compare them side by side Eat App has many, many more features for restaurant success than Table Agent. Consulting the pricing table above gives you sense of the feature differences between the two.
Differences in Pricing
Table Agent can be free with some additional add ons available. Eat App also starts at $0 per month with all the tools needed for a restaurant to get up and running online and growing revenue - with more feature rich packages starting at $49 per month.